Wendy Rush

It may seem like Las Vegas is tapped out on new people moving here. Our water resources seem to be depleted with Lake Mead falling so drastically. Our roads aren’t big enough to hold on the traffic it suddenly needs to. Road construction is an ongoing thing lately.

But still we keep seeing more and more housing construction happening around the valley. And in more recent years, even up the side of the mountains. Because people are still relocating to Sin City. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to stop anytime soon.

And one specific demographic that is, more and more, calling Las Vegas “home” is the Pacific Islanders. More specific, natives of Hawaii. In fact, the community of Hawaiians in Las Vegas is flourishing so much, that Vegas is informally referred to as the “Ninth Island”.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone leave Hawaii? The answer is pretty common. It’s too expensive to live there. According to dividendsdiversify.com, home prices are two and a half times the national average, rent is about 60% higher. Even utilities, groceries, and gasoline are much higher than you’ll find on the mainland.

But Hawaiians relocating to Las Vegas isn’t a new thing. And there’s a common denominator in many of the stories of why Islanders relocate to Sin City. There are a lot of targeted marketing specials aimed at the islands for getaways to Las Vegas. Some of our local hotels and casinos offer certain incentives for Hawaiians to visit. And a lot of times once someone is here to visit, they end up staying.

According to the New York Times, once such hotel was the California Hotel & Casino in downtown Vegas. It opened in 1975 with an intentional draw toward the residents of Hawaii. The dealers wore Hawaiian shirts. There was island cuisine on the menu. There was even a sign that read “Aloha Spoken Here” (nytimes.com).

So what specifically does Las Vegas have to offer that Hawaii doesn’t? Here’s a list of pros and cons about living on the islands versus living in Las Vegas.

Wendy Rush, 96.3 KKLZ

  • CON: Cost of Housing

    Photo by badmanproduction via Getty Images.

    Many people who live in Hawaii aren’t home owners. The average cost of a home there is $800K, which is nearly double the median price of $460K in Nevada (nytimes.com). So, many who come to Las Vegas get to buy a home for the first time. That’s a pretty enticing perk.

  • PRO: Amazing Weather & Scenery

    Waterfall With Rainbow in Kauai

    tobkatrina via Getty Images

    Fun Fact: There is a rainbow in Hawaii almost every day. As if they needed to be more paradisiacal than they already are. The weather on the islands is like a mild summer, every single day. If they had a state uniform, it would be shorts and flip flops. That doesn’t mean they don’t have their issues too. If you consider humidity, bugs and volcanos issues.

  • CON: Isolation

    Rear view of lonely man looking with hope at horizon with sunlight during sunset with effect of light at the end of tunnel

    splendens via Getty Images

    If you’re the kind of person that likes to jump in the car and go somewhere else on a whim, Hawaii might be a hard place to live. You can’t exactly do that there (unless your car can float). After a while of living on one of the islands, it might feel like you’re pretty alone.

  • PRO: Super Nice People

    Hawaii woman giving lei garland of pink orchids welcoming tourist on Hawaiian beach. Portrait of a Polynesian culture tradition of giving a flower necklace to a guest as a welcome gesture.

    Maridav via Getty Images

    You know that warm smile you get when you visit Hawaii and someone puts a lei on your neck? That’s not pretense. Native Hawaiians have a laid back way about them. They are extremely friendly and compassionate. It’s like their state motto is love and compassion.

  • PRO: Low Crime Rate

    Burglar standing at patio door

    Image Source via Getty Images

    While they’re not completely crime free on the islands (especially Hawaii), it’s a much low crime rate than the rest of the country. Think about it. There aren’t many places to hide if you’re committing a crime. And with the friendly nature of Hawaiians, they’d probably jump in front of a criminal if it meant helping out a neighbor.

  • CON: Congested Roads

    Congestion of highway

    bee32 via Getty Images

    Hawaii doesn’t have a lot of highways. And the roads they do have often have construction to keep them maintained. Plus, there aren’t a lot of bike paths or many public transportation options. That adds up to a lot of time sitting in traffic.

  • CON: Some Things Are Harder To Come By

    Grocery Expenses. Concerned Brunette Woman Sitting At Table In Kitchen, Looking At Bill After Food Shopping, Millennial Lady Upset About Prices, Suffering Financial Crisis And Poverty, Free Space

    Prostock-Studio via Getty Images

    Like we said before, the cost of living in Hawaii is outrageous. And some products you just don’t have access to on the islands. And if you are able to get them online, shipping costs and delivery times can be crazy. And speaking of crazy, there are places on the islands where people run out of water if they didn’t do a good job of collecting it when it rained. So that’s fun.

  • PRO: Lots Of Outdoors Activities Available

    Happy family - girl in snorkeling mask dive underwater with fishes school in coral reef sea pool. Travel lifestyle, water sport outdoor adventure, swimming lessons on summer beach holidays with child.

    Bicho_raro via Getty Images

    Snorkling, diving, boating and surfing are just a few of the things you can do IN the water. And out of it you have plenty of options too. Including biking, golfing, or hiking. You’re never without something to do living in Hawaii.

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